What is the effect of leaving some of the vegetable crops up over the winter—how does that improve soil conditions?

Great information for improving your soil…by not doing much at all!

Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

Intentionally or unintentionally, many gardeners have left plants in their gardens over the winter. This is actually a good thing…and something everyone should consider on a yearly basis!

Scientists – specifically agronomists and soil scientists – refer to the plant “litter” that remains after a harvest as “residue”. Leaving the residues in place over the winter, instead of pulling them up or tilling them into the soil surface, provides numerous benefits for the soil and your garden.

Sustaining life through soil protection leads to a bright future Farmers keep crop residues on their fields for the same reason home gardeners should consider them!  Credit: Fabian Fernandez

  • Plant residues reduce erosion and the loss of valuable topsoil. Residues cover soil and protect it during the non-growing season. Crop residues catch rainfall. This reduces the impact that individual rain droplets have with the soil surface. Residues also slow down any flow of melting snow over the soil. Both help protect the soil…

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